The Top 10 UFC Submission Fighters
This is a counterpart of sorts to my top 10 strikers list. Submissions, like KOs, are generally the only way to end a fight. While some fighters are better at KOing their opponent, some fighters are really good at forcing their opponent to submit. In other words, making them tap out.
These fighters are generally forgotten behind big-name KO artists like Rampage Jackson and Josh Koscheck. I've compiled a list of the top 10 Submission Fighters. In it, I will go into detail about these fighters.
No. 10: Matt Serra
He hasn't shown his submission prowess much while fighting in the UFC. However, four of his nine career wins are by submission, including his first three. His black belt in BJJ shouldn't be underestimated, although he does seem to lay-n-pray alot.
He can stand and strike, but, as evidenced with his one career KO win, there isn't much power there.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Kelly Dullanty at UFC 36 via Triangle Choke. He has never received SOTN honors, and he has no other notable wins via submission.
No. 9: Joe Lauzon
This guy is a true submission wizard. Fourteen of his eighteen career wins are by submission. He holds a purple belt in BJJ. He can stand and trade, as evidenced by his fourty-eight second KO over former champ and feared striker, Jens Pulver.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Jason Reinhardt at UFC 78. Lauzon quickly established himself against Reinhardt, getting Reinhardt's back and winning by RNC at just 1:14 of the first round. He holds other notable submission wins over Jeremy Stephens (Armbar) and Brandon Melendez(Triangle Choke). He has won Submission Of The Night Once.
No. 8: Matt Hughes
The former best welterweight in the world. He has won nineteen of his fifty career fights by submission. Hughes looks to take down his opponent and ground-and-pound him until the submission opportunity opens up. When it does, Hughes is very good about not wasting it.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Georges St. Pierre. Hughes submitted GSP via armbar at 4:59 of the first round. Hughes pulled off arguably the best transition to a submission ever. He has other notable submission wins over Frank Trigg (RNC) and Joe Riggs (Kimura).
No. 7: Kenny Florian
Florian is an excellent striker. He is also excellent on the ground. Eight of his twelve career wins have come via submission. He holds a black belt in BJJ.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Joe Stevenson at UFC 91 via RNC. Florian dominated the fight from start to finish, finally getting Stevenson's back and making him submit at 4:03 in the first round.
No. 6: BJ Penn
What a versatile guy. His boxing is among the best in the world, and so are his submissions. He holds a black belt in BJJ. He can easily overwhelm any fighter (except GSP, it seems).
He is dangerous anywhere the fight goes. He has only gone the distance six times in twenty fights.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Jens Pulver at TUF 5 Finale via RNC at 3:12 of the second round. Another notable submission win was against Kenny Florian (RNC) at UFC 101, and against Joe Stevenson at UFC 80. He has gotten SOTN once.
No. 5: George Sotiropolous
I can already tell that this will be a highly contested pick for this spot, especially so early in his UFC career. But this guy is an absolute beast on the ground. Seven of his eleven career wins have been on the ground, including three in his UFC career.
He often makes his opponents look as though they have never attempted grappling. Against Jason Dent, at UFC 106, he made Dent look woefully inexperienced, passing his guard at will and finally submitting him with a beautiful armbar at 4:35 of the second round.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: Against George Roop at UFC 101 via Kimura at 1:59 of the first round. He holds other notable submission wins over Jason Dent(Armbar) and Billy Miles(RNC). He has never won SOTN. He faces a big step up in competition vs. Joe Stevenson at UFC 110.
No. 4 : Karo Parisyan
Parisyan, while not a KO artist, fits the standard for the ground-and-pound submission fighter. Nine of his eighteen career wins are by submission. He can hang with anyone in the welterweight division(except Jon Fitch and GSP), and while some of his fights are boring, most of the time they have a quick pace.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Dave Strasser at UFC 44, via Kimura at 3:52 of the first round. He hasn't won SOTN, and no one knows when his next fight will be following the controversy after his last one. Rumors are that he will never again fight in the UFC.
No. 3: Demian Maia
What a beast. The only thing keeping him out of number one is the experience of the other guys, but he can still make a strong case. All of his UFC wins are by submission. His only loss is to other Middleweight standout Nate Marquardt. He holds a black belt in BJJ.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Chael Sonnen at UFC 95 via Triangle Choke at 2:37 of the first round. Other notable submission wins include Nate Quarry(RNC), Jason MacDonald(RNC), and Ed Herman(Triangle Choke). All of the four wins by submission have won him SOTN. He next squares off against Dan Miller at UFC 109.
No. 2: Frank Mir
Frank Mir was one of the first Heavyweights to really incorporate jiu-jitsu into his gameplan. When he first started out in MMA, he was very groundbreaking. Using jiu-jitsu at his size could really set up some mismatches. And it did.
Eight of his thirteen career wins are by submission. He has a black belt in BJJ.
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Tank Abbott at UFC 41 via Toe Hold at 46 seconds of the first round. He holds other notable submission wins over Brock Lesnar(Kneebar,Antoni Hardonk(Kimura), and Tim Sylvia(Armbar). He is set to fight Shane Carwin for the UFC Interrim Heavyweight Championship at UFC 112.
No. 1: Antonio Rodrigo
Everyone could see this coming. Minotauro has proven himself to be a very gutsy performer in all of his fights. Often times he gets battered relentlessly, only to come back and steal victory from the jaws of defeat. He holds black belts in BJJ and Judo, and taught Anderson SIlva everything he knows. B
BEST SUBMISSION WIN: vs. Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 via Guillotine Choke at 1:28 of the third round. Minotauro had been out fought in all phases of the game that night. However, he had on more beautiful submission in him as he used his expertise to lure Sylvia right into a very tight Guillotine. Battered and bloody, Minotauro, against all odds, had his hand raised that night.
He has other notable submission wins over Kiyoshi Timura(Armbar) and Heath Herring(Anaconda Choke). We will see him in the Octagon again at UFC 110. He will be facing young up-and-comer Cain Velasquez.
So there you have it, The Top 10 Submission Fighters In The UFC. If you have any feedback or any opinions on who shouldn't be on there, I plan on making a 2.0 version of this as well so leave a comment. Thank you for reading.